28/02/2008

Magnet Toys To Carry Safety Warnings

Toys containing small magnets are to carry new safety warnings, the government has announced.

The UK is supporting the new toy safety rule announced by the European Commission today.

The new safety warning will read: "Warning! This toy contains magnets or magnetic components. Magnets sticking together or becoming attached to a metallic object inside the human body can cause serious or fatal injury. Seek immediate medical help if magnets are swallowed or inhaled."

The warning, which is likely to come into effect from July, will have to be clearly visible to consumers on the packaging or the toy at the point of purchase.

It will apply to all toys in the supply chain, as well as those not yet placed on the market.

Consumer Affairs Minister Gareth Thomas welcomed the proposal and said: "This safety warning is important as small magnets in toys can be dangerous to young children. Businesses are also addressing this by improving their toy designs.

"The warning will help parents make informed decisions about which toys to buy and to be on their guard in supervising how their children play with them.

"The vast majority of toys on sale are safe, but the recent recalls were a worry for parents and the government. That's why we are working with the European Commission on extra steps to protect children from unsafe toys."

The European Commission has already started a comprehensive review of EU toy safety legislation.

(KMcA)


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